Monday, February 25, 2013

Saymoukda Vongsay and St. Paul Almanac present "When Poets Found Bass."

This Wednesday at the Black Dog Cafe in St. Paul, local luminaries, industry legends, international music-makers, and a world record holder will join Saymoukda Vongsay as she and the Saint Paul Almanac presents "When Poets Found Bass." SPNN and KFAI will be documenting. The event is free & early arrival is recommended for guaranteed seats. "When Poets Found Bass" will feature Fres Thao, Desdamona, Truthmaze, DJ Kool Akiem, and Ta-coumba Tyrone Aiken. The event goes from 7-9.

The Black Dog Cafe is located at 308 Prince Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101

The organizers lay out their premise as:

"In the last decade, the rise of spoken word poetry and poetry slams have given much attention to the literary art form itself—poetry. With poetry's performative aspects being akin to the stylized delivery of vocals in rap music, the line between spoken word poetry and rap has been blurred. What happens when poetry and rap intersect? Truthmaze, Desdamona, and Fres—three local luminaries from the world of poetry and Hip Hop—take us on a lyrical adventure and prove that the tools, devices, and guidelines observed by poets are the very same ones utilized by MCs.  

Without stripping away either of poetry's or rap's own aesthetics, these trailblazers have a dual identity, equally at ease when writing stanzas in notebooks or spitting bars over a track. Whether your cup of tea is more Blake than Big Daddy Kane, or if you prefer Aesop Rock over Angelou, this Lowertown Reading Jam is for you."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dr. Ketmani Kouanchao to speak at Laotian American Community of Fresno Banquet

Dr. Ketmani Kouanchao will be the Keynote Speaker for the Laotian American Community of Fresno Banquet on March 9, 2013 at the Clovis Senior Center. She'll be speaking on the journey of Lao Americans in education, civic engagement and the role of parents and elders in building the future with our youth.

The Laotian-American Community of Fresno was founded in 2000 by concerned Laotian community members as a source of mentorship, guidance, and support for community members and their families as new lives were being established in the United States.  They are the only Lao-run nonprofit in the Fresno area, and their mission is to promote and preserve Lao cultural heritage and traditions through traditional Lao dance classes and Lao literacy classes, and also to empower and encourage Lao youth to pursue college educations.

In 2013, a grant from ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program will support an ongoing program of traditional Lao dance instruction designed to preserve and promote cultural transmission to Lao-American youth. The classes taught by culture-bearers will concentrate on five dances which range from the popular ritualistic dance of welcome to dances depicting the enlightenment of Buddha.

Dr. Kouanchao currently serves as the director of EOPS/CARE programs at Mt. San Jacinto Community College. She received her doctorate degree from California State University- Fullerton in Educational Leadership Administration focusing on Community College. She received her Master’s Degree in Education and her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Public Health and East Asian Studies from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Kouanchao was born in Laos and raised in Minneapolis, MN.

She has over 15 years of experience as a university and community college administrator including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.  She works nationally on issues of cross-cultural leadership, women’s leadership and transformative leadership development – especially in communities of color and addressing federal and state-funded programs and connections with the non-profit sector.

She enjoys helping all students to discover their own unique leadership style so they can share their success with others and help everyone reach their full leadership potential. She is a regular columnist for the Twin Cities Daily Planet and Little Laos on the Prairie.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Xieng Mieng Kickstarter enters final days

Nor Sanavongsay was a member of the Lao American Writers Summit back in 2010, and presented the Xieng Mieng storybook he wanted to make. He's been at it almost 14 years and now he's almost finished making that dream happen.

Since the beginning of February, he's been holding a Kickstarter to fund the production of a full-color hardcover book, and now he's just $2K away from being able to present a hardcover edition of the book if he gets enough support. Backers can get a number of different rewards for their support, from thank you notes and exclusive post-cards to custom sketches and more. A donation of $15 will cover the cost of a physical copy of the book and the e-book version.